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Bowling Update

  • Posted on December 9, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Did I tell y’all that Willy is bowling now? He joined a league and everything! I know I mentioned it on Facebook, but I don’t know where all I’ve said it, so if this is news, I’m sorry. That’s the trouble with multiple platforms, I guess.

Bowling is an interesting sport. Not only do you have your special shoes and your mysterious rules, but you’re playing this sport in a neon-lit whirligig of activity. You switch lanes every other turn. People mill around you socializing. Other bowlers shout out their victories or bemoan their failures.

Then, there are the social aspects: interactions between teammates and between teams, comments from parents and spectators, directions from the coach to the kids. And there are the physical aspects: the weight of the ball in his hand, the sequence of steps which is more complicated than it seems, and the need to heft, to swing, to aim, and to release. And then there’s the lingo: strikes and spares, pickups, and gutter balls…I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I’ve picked up so far.

This is a complex little microcosm that Willy has scuttled into. And I’m at something of a loss on how to help. Suffice it to say that I can’t teach Willy to bowl. Though, I do observe what other players are doing and what Willy’s not, and the results of those differences. Like, every time he points his thumb at the gutter right as he releases the ball, the ball goes straight into the gutter before it gets even halfway down the lane. This, if you weren’t aware, is not a desired result. So, I try to advise Willy on that angle. But mostly I just encourage him and try to pick up what I can from the helpful people around me.

Willy’s talked about quitting once, though it was after a four-day weekend, too little sleep, and the challenges of re-adjusting to his schedule. By the time he came home, he decided he wanted to stick with it, but that he really wanted me there. I wasn’t looking for another time commitment, and I really don’t feel very useful, but if it helps him in some small way…then I guess I’m going bowling. Just not for the actual bowling part of it.